Juniper Networks will play a vital role this year in replacing and modernizing the Air Force’s network infrastructure at bases worldwide.
The company’s been chosen as the original equipment manufacturer on four contracts awarded to ThunderCat Technology and Affigent to install an open, switch-based network infrastructure for the Air Force’s Base Information Transport Infrastructure, or BITI, program.
“The Air Force’s network modernization program and support for open and interoperable technologies will pay long-term dividends for its secure network,” Bob Fortna, vice president of federal defense for Juniper, said in a release Monday.
Juniper says it will streamline network operations at the core and critical access layers at 44 bases around the world, “enabling greater distribution, scalability, automation and user access.” This work will include “a technology refresh for the core, distribution, critical access nodes and network management, as well as training and support for the warfighter,” according to a release.
The BITI program — which is responsible for upgrading the Air Force’s cyber infrastructure and provides both hardwired and wireless network capabilities, such as email and mission-critical applications, to 800,000 airmen at 175 active-duty, Reserve and Air National Guard bases — awarded the $24 million in prime contracts to ThunderCat and Affigent last summer. These four contracts mark the first phase of the network revitalization effort and should be completed by September. Air Force officials said in the past that the BITI modernizations will support the branch’s eventual transition to the Defense Department’s Joint Information Environment, a singular enterprise IT system shared among all of the defense community.
“The recent contract awards are a step in the right direction toward updating our Air Force cyber infrastructure,” Col. John Bedingfield, Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence and Networks Infrastructure Division senior materiel leader, said in a June Air Force public affairs story. “The contributions made by the BITI team are vital to the Air Force network and impact every Airman across the globe.”
The entire project has an estimated completion date of early 2017.